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How Do I Get Myself Out of This Slump?

Ever been in a slump? What is a slump? Dictionary.com defines a slump as: “a period during which a person performs slowly, inefficiently, or ineffectively, especially a period during which an athlete or team fails to play or score as well as usual; a period of decline or deterioration.”

we all go through slumps from time to time in our personal and professional lives. It’s normal.

The truth is, we all go through slumps from time to time in our personal and professional lives. It’s normal. These slumps will vary in length and severity, and the causes often involve a complex set of uncontrollable variables such as the weather, financial markets, or performance—plus controllable variables like preparation, focus, effort, and judgment.

Of course, there is no value in spending time thinking and worrying about the uncontrollable factors. So, where should we focus our energy in order to help ourselves get out of our slump?

Many years ago, as a young coach, I started using something I call “the slump formula” for the individuals, groups, and teams who were not playing well. The purpose was simple: find something that would increase the likelihood of reducing the length and/or severity of the slump. It had to be something that could work in a variety of circumstances and it had to be something we could implement quickly.

The slump formula has only three parts:

  1. Be positive and grateful

  2. Simplify

  3. Work hard

OK, this is not rocket science, but as Albert Einstein famously said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.”

Earlier this season, we employed the slump formula with great success. After starting out the season averaging two goals per game—our target is two or more goals per game—we went through a period where we were averaging fewer than one goal per game, including two consecutive games without scoring at all, aka a scoring slump.

First, we had to get our group seeing the glass as half full, rather than half empty. So, instead of our normal weekly film session where we critique our performance, we snuck in this video about gratitude in an attempt to change the spirit of the group from discouragement to gratefulness.

Second, we went back to basics in order to simplify goal-scoring moments. We had our players practice scoring into an open net (with no opponents), so they could see the ball hitting the back of the net more frequently in order to start rebuilding their scoring confidence.

Finally, we spent more time working hard on scoring the effort goals. These are goals scored on rebounds, half chances, and directly after a great defensive play.

Thankfully, with help from our own slump formula, our scoring confidence has returned and we’re once again scoring multiple goals per game. Hopefully, we will continue to maintain our scoring confidence as we battle for the conference championship and prepare our team for the NCAA Tournament.

when you find yourself in a slump, remember the slump formula to greater increase the chances of reducing the length and/or severity of your slump

So, when you find yourself in a slump, remember the slump formula to greater increase the chances of reducing the length and/or severity of your slump. We’ve had great success over the years with this simple formula, and I hope it helps you as well!

Athletics
Illuminate, personal growth, Santa Clara, success, teamwork

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